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Have you been misclassified at work?

Are you an employee or a contract worker? Believe it or not, how your employer classifies you does matter. If you are labeled as a contract worker, you may not be entitled to the same rights and benefits as an employee.

Whether intentional or deliberate, misclassification can have serious impacts on the affected employees. Here are three questions that can help you establish if you are being misclassified by your employer.

Is your contract prohibiting you from working for another employer?

An independent contractor has the liberty to offer their services to more than one client at any given time. If your contractual agreement with the employer is prohibiting you from working for someone else during the term of your engagement with them, then chances are they are misclassifying you. This is especially true if there are specific clauses in the contract that explicitly forbid you from offering your services to someone else.

Is your engagement with the employer indefinite?

Typically, an independent contractor is brought in to complete a specific task or render their service for a specific time period. Thus, the contractor-employer engagement automatically ends upon completion of the task or the expiry of the contract period. If your working relationship does not come with a definite scope or timeline, then you need to ask yourself if you are being misclassified.

Are you doing the same work as the other employees?

Again, an independent contractor is recruited to perform specific tasks that require specialized skills. If you have been hired as an independent contractor but end up performing the same roles as the organization’s employees, then there is a pretty good chance that you could be the subject of misclassification. To confirm your concerns, you might want to find out if the employer is exercising the same oversight over your job as other employees.

Misclassification can obstruct workers from accessing vital rights and privileges. If you feel you are a victim of misclassification in the workplace, it is important that you address the issue and safeguard your rights.